What a week! It’s been busy and fun-filled, and I’ve got a lot of photos itching to be shared. Enjoy!
DONUTS WITH FRIENDS: One neighborhood back, our girls had next-door friends whom they’ve sorely missed since their exit to Sunny Florida a couple years ago. But thanks to e-mail and other means, they’ve managed to stay in touch. We feel grateful that the family included us in their vacation plans in North Dakota this week, letting us “borrow” their girls as well as taking ours swimming at their hotel. It’s always hard to say goodbye, but so sweet seeing young friendship endure, even through the miles. On Wednesday, after the sleepover, the girls enjoyed morning donuts out on the front steps.
HORIZONTAL WORLD: My latest read is a second-timer. More than a year ago I discovered and read, with pleasure, Debra Marquart’s memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere. The book is a jewel, poignantly written. The backdrop for most of the story? Rural Napoleon, North Dakota. Summer seems the perfect time to re-read this gem of a book, since so many of Marquart’s fondest recollections seem to revolve around North Dakota in the summertime.
Here’s an excerpt from the prologue, xix and xx, describing her mother:
“As a child, I remember my mother as overworked and preoccupied, slamming doors and cupboards. She was always busy with her hands, milking cows, washing dishes, canning, sewing, gardening, working with the farm bills, the messy pile of receipts, her worried fingers on the calculator. She was always running from place to place.
“In the barn, she would throw a milker on the cow then run across the yard into the house to put dinner in the oven…
“She’d throw open the refrigerator and tear the roast from its wrapper. She would clatter a pan on the kitchen counter then throw the roast in with a loud thump. She’d tear open the packet of French onion soup, sprinkle it over the meat, run a little tap water into the pan, throw the whole thing in the oven, and be out the door and back to the barn in time to take the milker off the finished cow and put it on the next one.”
ST. BEN’S A’ CALLIN’: In less than two weeks, I’ll be packing up my bags in preparation for my second summer writing residency at St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. For more on my summer reprieve, see Wednesday’s post describing the monastery’s scholar-in-residence program, Studium, and what I’m anticipating. Here’s another photo from last year’s visit:
HANGING WITH HORSES: This was our second turn at a summertime excursion to our local YMCA’s Camp Cormorant, which began with a short trail ride. This horse, with her shiny red mane, caught my eye…
LURE OF THE LAKE: After a fabulous hot-dog-grill lunch on the patio outside the camp cafeteria, we let the kids loose in the lake. Last year, the little boys stayed near the shore, and this year was no exception…
Until they saw their sister swimming out to the trampoline innertube. Before I realized what was happening, I saw them following behind in their life jackets.
This is, by far, the furthest they’ve ever ventured out into any body of water. They had an absolute blast!
And they weren’t the only ones enjoying the water today. As this retriever did what retrievers do best, the kids hollered from the innertube, “Go dog! Go dog! Go dog!”
Even the beachcombers seemed content:
Finally, a few of my favorite kids’ quotes from today, compliments of my 4-year-old.
On the way to the lake in the van: “Mom, can you turn down the cold air? I’m getting GHOST BUMPS!!!”
On the way back into town, after examining his legs: “Hey, guess what? It wasn’t Lake Itch Day today!” (You can guess from this what afflicted him the last time he jumped into a lake.)
I posted recently about some changes to my blog. In keeping with my revised theme, “A garden blend of faith, family and following the muse,” I’m beginning a new schedule that will go like this:
Monday = Mama Mondays
Wednesday = Writing Wednesdays
Friday = Faith Fridays
On certain “Quick Takes” Fridays, I might bleed my postings into the weekend to make sure the faith angle is covered. In that case, I might do a “Soulful Saturdays” from time to time. Stay tuned for a forthcoming post on my quest to find a spiritual director.
NATURE SPEAKS. Sometimes, I hear voices when I’m out in nature, and today I heard a whisper reminding me that all living things have something beautiful about them — even thistles.
Let this be your challenge this weekend, as it will be mine. Where might you find beauty in something or someone that otherwise might be passed by?
May it be a bright and lovely weekend for you.
For more “quick takes,” visit Jennifer’s Conversion Diary.